Image by Your Wedding Story

The Inspiration

Myself and Lisa from Essex Wedding Beauty began with the brief of Wild Luxe we wanted the shoot to have an effortless outdoor feel with a slightly undone aesthetic, using a soft colour palette of mint, peach, grayed jade & mink. We felt that the natural setting of Old Brook Barn in the beautiful Essex countryside was the perfect place for shoot. With it’s rustic charm, natural brook, secret garden, willow trees and meadow fields, it was an idyllic setting for our images and a stunning venue for anyone’s special day.  All shot by the super talented Your Wedding Story Photography

Image by Your Wedding Story

Flowers: The colour palette of apricot and mint is perfect when creating feminine and romantic flowers. To create the bouquet I have used splashes of salmon chaenomeles, along with salmon stocks, apricot chrysanthemum blooms and the gorgeously scented White O’hara rose. The mint accents of ranunculus, jasmine, ammi and variegated ivy are added to balance the apricot tones; interspersed with pops of secret garden roses, white delphiniums, and white anemones. Keeping the tones soft and introducing different shapes and texture has resulted in the bouquet being super feminine!

The Suppliers

Each Essex based supplier took our theme & interpreted it using the chosen colours, stationery was awash with watercolour & elegant gold accents, cakes were delicate & romantic, finished with hand painted touches, our stunning model was dressed in gorgeous soft dresses & separates that ranged from white with lace overlays & mink with gold details & her hair & make up was kept soft & elegant, the finishing touch was the beautiful floral details in shades of blush & mint that were used to create a feminine yet textured feel to the whole shoot.

The Bridge Scene

Clothing: A stunning double dress from Ti Adora by Alvina Valenta. A beautifully simple satin backless dress is worn with a delicate lace overlay to provide some Boho beauty. Worn on this shoot with a bespoke double browband in crystal.

Image by Your Wedding Story


Hair & Make Up : For our model’s first look I wanted to create a soft updo, which I did by simply pinning curled hair into a French plait which ran down the centre of the model’s hair. The softness of the style worked perfectly with the forehead accessory.  As for makeup I used my favourite foundation, Makeup Forever HD, and created a subtle smokey eye using Makeup Geek eyeshadows, and finally complimenting with Bobbi Brown’s Pale Mauve lipstick.

Image by Your Wedding Story


The Horse Scene

Clothing: Model wears separates – a bespoke daisy crop top with pearl buttons down the back by Wendy Jonas Couture. This is worn with the Adora Skirt by Willowby from Watters which is layer upon layer of dreamy tulle. Effortless elegance. Worn with a Rainbow Club vintage style headpiece.

Image by Your Wedding Story


Hair & Make up: So not to compete with our show stopping pony I kept Tess’ hair simple with a messy french twist with lots of height.  This style is perfect with the vintage style side tiara from Rainbow Club.

Image by Your Wedding Story


Flowers: The minute I saw the arch at Old Brook Barn, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to adorn it with pretty florals, perfect for that wow factor. Flowers to match the bouquet have been used on the arch along with some larger blooms for impact such as delphiniums.

The Pagoda Scene – Dresses – Heritage Brides

Clothing: Wearing separates again, this vintage style is a match made in heaven. The Lanikai Crop top in champagne from Willowby at Watters is worn with a custom made silk flowing skirt made by Wardrobe by Dulcinea. The ethereal look is finished off with a 20s feel browband from Rene Walrus and a light as air chapel length one tier veil from Richard Designs. The soft coloured aquamarine & rose quartz of the beautiful bracelets by Muru were stacked to add impact & elegance.

Image by Your Wedding Story


Hair & Make-up: For this look I felt the dress and the accessories lent itself beautifully to a soft vintage side bun with loose curls framing the face. Once again I kept the eye’s smokey with a subtle lip, which this time was Bare Pink by Bobbi Brown.

Image by Your Wedding Story


Flowers: The floral suspended hoops are a really interesting way to add floral décor to areas whilst keeping the overall feel light and whimsical.

Props: Vintage Style Hire provided stunning pieces from their hire range including the gorgeous chair ‘Rose’ one of the latest addition to their inventory along with the vintage dresser.

Image by Your Wedding Story



The Secret Garden Scene

For the bride who wants to make a statement! Wear the Elizabeth skirt from Wardrobe by Dulcinea with a bespoke lace crop top from Wendy Jonas Couture. Add on a bit of sparkle in the form of back jewellery by Bijoux Bec and a custom made headpiece for the wow factor. Definitely a style your guests will be talking about for months to come. Soft and pretty but edgy and fashion forward all at the same time.

Image by Your Wedding Story



Wardrobe by Dulcinea and Wendy Jonas Couture pieces are exclusively available at Heritage Brides. The back jewellery by Bijoux Bec has also been created exclusively for sale in the Hatfield House boutique with a number of different options available.


Image by Your Wedding Story


Image by Your Wedding Story


The Cakes – Egg & Moos

‪It was an absolute dream working with these soft colours; they worked so beautifully from a cake designer’s point of view. ‪I decided to create a four tier cake incorporating different depth tiers to bring a real wow factor. Keeping the base colour to a soft taupe shade allowed the hand painted white lace to stand out. I decided to add oversized peach sugar roses in clusters which creates a romantic and feminine feel and then added accents of gold through the leaves. I finished the look with a gorgeous hand finished crystal embellished lace which I just adore.

Image by Your Wedding Story


‪Alongside the cake I also provided sphere cakes, mini cakes, macarons, meringue kisses, cakepops, cookies and cupcakes to create a gorgeous dessert table. This allowed me to incorporate the beautiful mint tones. With tiny accents of gold here and there and matching hand painted lace on the cookies to tie in with the cake, I felt that the overall look was both elegant and romantic.

The Stationery – Russet and Gray 


Image by Your Wedding Story


A subtle wash of watercolour was teamed with real gold glitter to add a layer of luxury to a lovely soft palette. Natural kraft card added some texture and coupled with a thick tactile card the stationery really came to life.




We recently teamed up with some of our favourite suppliers in the area for a shades of winter inspired shoot.

Often when thinking of winter flowers the instant ‘go to’ is deep reds or whites.  Using marsala as our initial palette we aimed to show how different tones can be used for a winter wedding.

Love That Smile Photography - Winter Styled Shoot - Oct 2015_101

Karen from Rock the Day Styling explains the design concept behind the shoot.


“The aesthetic concept behind this shoot was to combine the sumptuous tones of winter, evoking feelings of roaring fires and luxury textures with the coolness of aquamarine and silvers representing ice and crisp colours”


“The deep tones of marsala (Pantone’s colour of the year for 2015) were used alongside the cool blue china to contrast and complement each other beautifully on our table setting. Sumptuous greens, provided by the luxurious floral centrepieces added a fresh dimension and brought in a taste of nature along with the organic style stationery, while the silver sequin linen added texture”

Love That Smile Photography - Winter Styled Shoot - Oct 2015_044


There is so much depth to the colour scheme I decided to create an oversized statement bouquet.  To lighten the colours slightly I interspersed some lighter tones by using the gorgeous blush proteas and café au lait dalias. The deeper tones in the bouquet included burgundy callas, cosmos, sedum and amnesia roses. To create the trailing effect stunning red amaranthus are used along with euphorbias.  It’s worth considering using a few lighter tones within a darker colour scheme to help soften the overall look.


For the tables, pale blue distressed pots were you used to complement the aquamarine component of the colour palette. These are then packed with the marsala tones trailing over the edges for an opulent feel. Amongst the  table designs figs and pomegranates have been placed to add some additional texture to the tables.


Karen of Rock The Frock Bridal Boutique used Katya Katya Shehruina dresses used in this shoot for the way their lace mirror icy patterns.

Love That Smile Photography - Winter Styled Shoot - Oct 2015_085

“The floaty nature of the dresses contrasted beautifully with the crispness of the ivory to show the relationship between sumptuous winter textures and crisp, clean patterns of the lace.”

Lisa from Essex Wedding Beauty talks us through her styling for our model Elle.


“For Elle’s hair I wanted to create a half up style with a difference. The half up style is definitely one of the most requested hairstyles, and it is always fun to put a twist on a classic. We also incorporated some cosmos flowers to the hairstyle to add contrast and detail.

For our first look I kept the eye makeup simple by using neutral colours to define the eyes, and drew attention to the lips using Bobbi Brown’s ‘Raisin’ lip colour, which complimented the masala colour theme.


For the second look I changed the lip colour to Bobbi Brown’s ‘Pale Mauve’ lip colour, and emphasised the eyes by creating a smokey eye. I quickly changed Elle’s hair to a classic bun by simply creating a knot with the hair and pinning in place.”


Love That Smile Photography - Winter Styled Shoot - Oct 2015_068


Photographer – Love That Smile Photography
Flowers – Lily and May
Ribbons – Kate Cullen Styling
Venue – The Old Parish Rooms
Dresses – Rock The Frock Bridal Boutique
Hair & Make-up – Essex Wedding Beauty
Cake – Frenchmade
Stationery – Lou Rodrigues Beyond Vintage
Linen – The Sweet Hostess

As we approach the end of the 2015 it’s always a good opportunity to look back at the past year.  As a business owner it’s often at this time of year that I tend to reflect on achievements over the past twelve months and celebrate these; as well as looking at ways to improve going forward.

I have been lucky enough to not only work with some amazing clients who trust my knowledge and skill to produce designs for one of the most important days of their lives but also work with some truly inspiring suppliers.

Towards the end of the year when us wedding florists start to get tired and emotional I got the biggest boost, winning the Wedding Industry Award for Wedding Florist of the Year, East of England.  Having started the business from the ground up on my own over 7 years ago this little award made it all worth while.  The fact that past clients felt strongly enough to take a few moments out of their days to vote really does mean the world.


12249909_1034212613287592_6520425764475927913_n FullSizeRender-1

Going forward I have made the decision to take on less weddings, with everything I design being so bespoke I have decided on quality over quantity.  I want to get back to why I started the business. Yes having over 50 weddings a year its great for some people, but I am not a massive corporation with a huge team of people behind me and do not pretend to be such.  I am also not the sort of business owner that will ever want to lose creative control.  I want to continue building great relationships with my clients and to do this I must not spread myself too thinly.


Here are some of my favourite images from the last 12 months, congratulations to all those who married in 2015 and I look forward to working on the gorgeous 2016 weddings.

Happy New Year!




Image credit – clockwise from top left


VENUE 2015


Image credit – clockwise from top left




There are so many talented suppliers in the wedding industry, we were lucky enough to work with a group of fantastic creative types earlier in the year on this styled shoot.  All images have been photographed by the fabulous Magdalena from Love That Smile Photography.

Our inspiration for the flowers started with the gorgeous space at The Old Parish Rooms, there really is something very special about this venue.  We wanted to keep the flowers very fresh and use lots of stunning foliage to complement the stunning white walls and wooden floors.


The bouquet consists of ferns, a mixture of eucalyptus with apricot roses, lisianthus, sweet smelling stock and out favourite hellebores.

StyledShoot_OldParishRooms_Mar2015_115 (1)




We love sequins and could not resist creating this floral runner to sit with the table linen from The Sweet Hostess.



Lisa from Essex Wedding Beauty created these beautiful hair designs.  We designed the foliage crown along with the cluster of hair flowers, the perfect contrast for model Chloe’s hair colour and dresses carefully selected by Karen from Rock the Frock.

The fabulous cake table with cakes by French Made and marshmallows from Mello Mallo  decorated with our blooms and backdrop from Beyond Vintage.





A textured buttonhole with waxflower, ferns and lisianthus.



The chairs at The Old Parish Rooms were adorned palms, sometimes less is more!  To continues with the bronze and gold hues we created a table centre with a bronze lantern and textured flowers.



A great team of suppliers with beautiful results I hope you agree.



Image 1 with text


When we first meet with couples, one of the first questions we ask is do you have a colour scheme?  Even if the scheme is not yet decided, there will normally be a specific set of colours in mind.

At Lily & May we love colour, we always look forward to seeing the Pantone colour trends and Spring 2015 hasn’t disappointed (take a look at the Spring 2015 Fashion Colour Report for more information).

We thought we would share some of our ideas on how this year’s trends work with different colour combinations.

The colours below are all tones that our couples are often trying to incorporate into their big day. We’ve kept the palette quite soft and neutral as this is sometimes easier to work with if you are nervous about using a mixture of colours.


toasted almond



We frequently use a nude tone such as toasted almond in our flowers. A nude tone helps to soften any colour scheme.

Image Credit

This shower bouquet is a perfect example of successfully combining a mixture of colours whilst keeping a strong romantic feel to the flowers. Several of the colours in our above colour palette have  been used , toasted almond, custard, aquamarine. Some may think that by using so many different colours; the overall look will be too vibrant and bright yet the bouquet is soft and full of pastels.

Image Credit


Flowers are a natural product so try not to get too fixated on an exact colour match, choosing colours that complement rather than match perfectly is just as effective and far less stressful!

For example if you have chosen to dress your bridesmaids in a pale pink, consider other colours that work rather than just using the same shades.  Even a small amount of daisies complements pink beautifully.

Grey, blue, and blush tones work perfectly alongside peach, cream, pale pink and lavender flowers.  Incorporating splashes of your main colour through you tables is a great way to create a relaxed and soft colour scheme.

Image Credit


Using several accents of a colour can sometimes create more of an impact than colour on mass.

The colours below are also in the Spring 2015 report. This palette works with both soft and vibrant colour schemes.


Using a large amount of texture can change the way colours look, although the colours below are fairly vibrant using an array of different blooms still achieves a soft, romantic feel.

Green is an extremely flexible colour it works well as a backdrop for both bold and soft colour schemes.

Calry & Ramits Wedding. 7th June 2014-181

Image Credit


Jennifer and Ricky Bouquet

Image Credit Lily & May

In the image below we have used a mixture of vibrant tones along with a soft lemon, the overall impact is still striking but has a certain softness thanks to the texture.


Image Credit

When speaking with your wedding florist it’s helpful to think of key words that represent how you want your wedding day to feel e.g. romantic, relaxed these can really help form an image of how colours can be used in your wedding flowers.

Wherever possible try to bring a swatch to your consultation, remember one person’s pale blue is duck egg to another, one person’s blush is champagne to someone else. Try not to over think it, choosing a colour palette should be fun enjoyable.

Justin Bailey

Image Credit

Image Credit

Containers are often over-looked where wedding flowers are concerned, you always think about what flowers you are after but very rarely does that much thought get put into what you are going to put them in.

This is often where couples come unstuck during consultations because they are not sure what the options are.

The simple answer to that is…anything!

This definitely shouldn’t be the case as a container can really make or break a floral arrangement.



A good container should work with your wedding flowers to help enhance them in every way, by drawing out the colours, encouraging the shape and working alongside your chosen theme. You don’t want a container to distract from the flowers too much – there should be a good balance.

Birch Tall Table



A good place to start when trying to choose a container is the feel you are trying to achieve on your wedding day. Rustic, informal, romantic, relaxed, elegant?




By choosing some key words to describe your wedding day it can helps us to create a visual image of what you may be after.


Different containers instantly give off a certain feel, for example a sparkly container is instantly more elegant than a bark covered vase.


You can be creative with your containers, the above images are both using the same shaped vase however they are covered with completely different materials. Bark gives a more rustic, relaxed feel whereas a sequinned covered container feels more elegant and romantic.


One of my favourite containers to use is a silver rose bowl (above and below) because it’s so gorgeous. It is like a beautiful blank canvas….we have used these on numerous occasions and achieved completely different looks. It’s all dependent on the texture and colour of the flowers that you put in them.



A jam jar is a staple container – very easy to use, gives a very rustic and informal feel to a table. We’ve seen these cropping up a lot in 2014 and 2015.  Each jam jar can be decorated to complement the theme of your wedding day.


There are many different containers that can be used for taller and more dramatic table centres, below we have used a silver trumpet vase packed with large blooms and trailing amaranthus.




Using clear tall cylinder vases keeps the overall impact fresh and clean whilst still maintaining the wow factor for guests.





Our grey urns are perfect for a rustic wedding but are still elegant and add another texture to your table centres.  Mixing copper and mercury votives with tea lights and flower heads creates additional interest to the tables.





When choosing your wedding flowers also consider the container for the flowers, as shown above this can really change the overall look and feel of your wedding.





We are pleased to announce the dates for our Mothers Day Workshops.


Spring Flowers Cover Credit Lily & May

This is great for a gift or a perfect way to learn how to create your own.


Learn to make a gift bouquet along with a small floral arrangement in a pretty, seasonal container, all materials provided.


These take place at our workshop in Brentwood, Essex on the following dates and include tea, coffee and cake.


  • 13th March: 10.00 – 13.00
  • 13th March: 14.00 – 17.00
  • 14th March: 10.00 – 13.00
  • 14th March: 14.00 – 17.00


Cost: £60.00




To book please email

So as 2014 draws to a close we thought it would be a good time to reflect on Lily & May’s year.

We’ve been fortunate enough to work on over 50 weddings throughout 2014 which is our largest number yet…and not only that, we’ve worked with some truly amazing clients too.

The variety of people that we get coming through our workshop doors will never cease to amaze us, everybody has come to us with their own ideas and we’ve been lucky enough to help them make it a reality. We will never tire of seeing a bride’s face when she see’s her bouquet for the first time!


We thought being the end of the year it would be a good time to reminisce about some of these weddings along with some of our highlights.


Towards the beginning of the year we worked on Hollie and Shane’s special day at the beautiful Gaynes Park. Their wedding flowers had a real Spring time feel to them with fresh and romantic colours, packed with texture.  Image credit Voyteck

Keely had to be the most excitable bride we have ever had the pleasure of working with, if anyone can convey excitement via an email about a wedding cake…Keely can! It is really nice to work with excitable brides and to know that they share your love of flowers too.

Image credit Lollypop

One of the wedding’s that really stood out to us this year, is Carly and Ramit’s.  How can you not love the abundance of colour and texture!  Image credit Katie Drouet


Emily and Brandon’s wedding was a truly romantic affair, set in Emily’s parents garden after the ceremony at the church next door.  The whole day had a country and relaxed feel to it – loved it!  Image Credit Guy Collier 

Sophie and Christopher wed in the midst of August in the whitest marquee you will ever see which was a perfect backdrop for our flowers. Pink, green and white tones worked beautifully creating a fresh feel.  Image credit Justin Bailey

Alison and Nikhil were just one of this years international clients, they wed in Writtle which was truly picturesque scenery for their pastel coloured flowers. Soft, yellows, pinks and blues in Alison’s more traditional shower bouquet worked brilliantly alongside her dress.

Image credit LM Weddings

Michelle and Jonathon got married in December however they didn’t want their flowers to feel too festive but still wintery. Their ceremony took place in Holland Park, The Orangery is light and airy so we used pale pinks, nudes, white and fresh green tones. For the reception we went with deep, luxurious reds but offset them with pops of a brighter pink to stop it looking too Christmassy. Image Credit Lily & May



Amongst all of this madness we’ve had the pleasure of working with some truly great suppliers some of whom were nice enough to send us some images of us working behind the scenes…

One of the highlights of this year is being shortlisted for the regional finalists in The Wedding Industry Awards. Thank you again to everyone who voted, it means the world! We thought we would include some of your lovely feedback, it truly made us smile.



We’d like to wish you all a happy and healthy new year from everyone at Lily & May…thank you for supporting us through 2014, roll on next year…



We are lucky enough to be one of the recommended florists at the beautiful Gaynes Park in Epping, Essex.   We always love working at this venue, so when we were approached by a fantastic team of suppliers to work on a photo shoot at Gaynes Park in the summer we couldn’t wait. Spending the day taking in the surroundings of this stunning venue without the time constraints of setting up a wedding was a real treat.  I hope you enjoy looking through some of the stunning images by the talented Justin Bailey.

For this shoot we have used a mixture of soft and bright tones with an abundance of texture, whilst keeping the overall style formal and elegant.

The table flowers contain a mixture of vibrant seasonal blooms such as peonies, flowering mint, stocks and David Austin Edith and Juliet roses.  Clematis and dusty miller is used to add an interesting texture to the arrangement and placed in an elegant silver rose bowl.

The gorgeous stationery is by the talented (and award winning) Folio Bespoke.

To complement the beautiful chair in the Coach House delphimums have been placed in silver trumpet vases using various shades of blue and purple to create an ombré effect.

We were inspired by the pop of colour in the gown gown designed by Federica At Federica Bruno to create a flower necklace.  The necklace is created using pink piano and bombastic spray roses with a Sarah Bernhardt peony to finish the design. The hair accessories are by Sense of Wonderment with hair and makeup by Essex Wedding Beauty.

The bouquet contains a mixture of Juliet and Edith David Austin roses along with flowering mint. stocks, astilbe with bright pink roses to bring through some depth in colour.  This is finished with long trailing ribbons in assortment of colours.


We also constructed a floral backdrop using carnations (yes we used carnations!) along with delphiniums to decorate the chairs in the walled garden.

Here a couple of sneaky behind the scenes images of us from Rideout.

David from Rideout Films produced this beautifully shot behind the scenes film.



Venue - Gaynes Park

Photography – Justin Bailey

Hair & Make Up – Essex Wedding Beauty

Videography – Rideout Films

Venue Styling – Mediterranean Occasions

Dresses – Federica Bruno

Shoes - Marsha Hall

Flowers – Lily & May

Stationary – Folio Bespoke

Hair Accessories – Sense of Wonderment


What a couple…and what a wedding. Emily and Brandon were an absolute joy to work with, fun, friendly and full of ideas.

Emily and Brandon - Slides (103 of 216)


The ceremony took place at St Johns the Baptist in Danbury, we created this gorgeous floral  arch packed with hydrangeas and roses and a few sneaky carnations (yep you heard me correctly, nothing wrong with an apple tea carnation).


As we were moving the arch after the ceremony we actually got to witness this moment below, which is a real treat for us wedding florists.


We didn’t have to travel far to get to the reception venue as this took place in Emily’s parents beautiful home next to the church.


Emily and Brandon

Emily and Brandon had a tentipi in the grounds,  such a relaxed idea for a summer wedding The beams adorned with foliage and a selection of jars and hand painted (by us) containers to fit with the colour scheme.  The top table was flanked by birch trees with cute bunting.

Emily and Brandon - Slides (55 of 216)


Emily and Brandon

The buttonholes contained a mixture of freesia, daisies, rosemary and senecio leaves finished with twine.

Emily and Brandon - Slides (80 of 216)


Emily and Brandon

The bridal party bouquets, contained Juliet David Austin Roses, Lilac Stocks, Freesias, Astilbe, Quicksand Roses and Veronicas, finished with Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Senecio Leaves.

Emily and Brandon

Such a great team of suppliers worked on Emily and Brandons wedding, and thank you to the very talented Guy Collier Photography for sharing these with us.